Understanding Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs): Expert Insights with Dr. Nazeri
Dr. Nazeri (Dr. N): Mrs. J, I understand that your family doctor has informed you about having PVCs. Let's discuss this condition and address any concerns you may have.
Mrs. J (MJ): Thank you, Dr. Nazeri. I would like to know more about PVCs and whether I should be worried.
Dr. N: PVCs, or premature ventricular contractions, are extra heartbeats that occur in the lower chambers of the heart called ventricles. While they can be concerning, it's important to consult with a heart specialist like myself to evaluate your specific case. At Mobitz Heart & Rhythm Center, we provide comprehensive arrhythmia services, including the diagnosis and treatment of PVCs.
MJ: What are the symptoms associated with PVCs?
Dr. N: Symptoms of PVCs may include a fluttering feeling in your chest, the sensation of your heart pounding or jumping, the perception of your heart skipping or missing beats, chest pain, shortness of breath, and dizziness. However, it's essential to consider your individual symptoms and medical history to determine the appropriate course of action.
MJ: Are there any factors that can contribute to PVCs?
Dr. N: Yes, several factors can contribute to PVCs. These may include certain medications, such as decongestants and antihistamines, excessive alcohol consumption or drug use, stimulants like caffeine and tobacco, intense exercise or heightened anxiety (which can increase adrenaline levels), and heart muscle damage due to heart disease. Identifying and addressing these factors can be crucial in managing PVCs.
MJ: What tests might be ordered to evaluate PVCs?
Dr. N: To evaluate PVCs, we may recommend diagnostic tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) to measure the electrical activity of your heart, a Holter monitor for continuous recording of your heart's electrical activity, an echocardiogram to assess your heart's structure and function, and a cardiac stress test to evaluate your heart's response to physical activity. These tests help us gain a comprehensive understanding of your heart health and guide our treatment decisions.
MJ: How are PVCs typically treated?
Dr. N: Treatment for PVCs can involve various approaches. Lifestyle modifications, including reducing or eliminating caffeine and tobacco use, are often recommended. Medications may be prescribed to lower blood pressure and control heart rhythm. In severe cases or when conservative measures are not effective, radiofrequency catheter ablation may be considered. This procedure involves using specialized catheters to eliminate the abnormal heart tissue responsible for PVCs, restoring normal heart rhythm.
MJ: Can you tell me more about catheter ablation and its success rate?
Dr. N: Catheter ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that targets and eliminates the specific area of the heart responsible for generating PVCs. By delivering radiofrequency energy through a catheter, we can disrupt abnormal electrical signals and restore normal heart rhythm. The success rate of catheter ablation for PVCs is generally high, with many patients experiencing a significant reduction in PVC episodes or even complete resolution.
MJ: Where can I learn more about PVCs and seek expert advice?
Dr. N: To learn more about PVCs and receive personalized expert advice, I encourage you to schedule an appointment at Mobitz Heart & Rhythm Center. You can reach our center by calling (713) 909-3166 or visit our website at https://www.mobitzheart.com/contact/. Our dedicated team is here to provide comprehensive care, answer your questions, and guide you toward optimal heart health.